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Missed It By THAT Much!

Friday, March 8, 2019

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“Missed it by that much!” – Maxwell Smart, Agent 86

Get Smart was one of the top-rated TV comedies of the 1960s. Starring Don Adams as the bumbling, but lovable Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, the show was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. It also starred Barbara Feldon as “99” and Edward Platt as the “Chief”.

Get Smart’s zaniness – and Adams character in particular – gave life to a host of comedic catch-phrases such as “Would you believe…”, “Sorry about that Chief”, “And loving it”, and “I asked you not to tell me that.” Then, of course, there was the ubiquitous “Missed it by that much.”

One of the closest calls I can remember watching on TV was the 2009 Open Championship. With just one hole to play, 59-year old Tom Watson led the tournament by a single stroke. A par on #18 would have made him the oldest player to win a major in golf history.

Alas, after splitting the fairway with his drive, Watson hit an 8-iron too well and it ran through the rock-hard green. Instead of chipping, he elected to putt the ball, left it eight feet short, and then missed the par putt. His tap-in bogey tied Watson with Stewart Cink, who beat him in a 4-hole playoff.

My heart broke watching Watson come up short in what would have been the sports headline of the year. Likewise, I felt keen disappointment when my golf hero, Jack Nicklaus, missed winning a 7th Masters tournament in 1998. Hampered by an arthritic and increasingly painful left hip, the “Golden Bear” still managed to birdie four of the first seven holes on his way to carding a final round 68. And his 283 total for the tournament was – and remains – the lowest score by a player over the age of 50.

But because he kept “missing by that much”, such as a putt on 16 that curled away at the last minute and another on 18 that came up an inch short, Nicklaus finished tied for sixth. Not too shabby for a man who was to have his hip replaced six months later…but still, no green jacket.

Far more heartbreaking than Watson’s and Nicklaus’ near-misses are the 18 inches that keep so many people out of heaven. They know about Jesus in their heads, but have never invited Him to travel the foot-and-a-half distance to their hearts.

Please don’t miss heaven by “that much”. And please don’t let anyone else, especially your loved ones, miss it either.

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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